IP Information & News

.eu domain names and a ‘no deal’ Brexit — why you need a contingency plan

Gareth Price

By Gareth Price


Do you use a .eu domain name? If so, it has now become imperative that you come up with a contingency plan in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Previously, we reported that UK businesses and individuals using .eu domain names should consider preparing alternative domains, as they’ll no longer meet the eligibility criteria for ownership after Brexit. Now, the EURiD (the .eu register operator) has issued instructions on what will happen in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

What you need to know

The new guidance states that, if registrants cannot comply with the eligibility criteria within 12 months, they risk losing their domain names. These will eventually be revoked and released back onto the open market for registration. Here’s the timetable as proposed by EURid:

  • 23 March 2019 — UK registrants (and their registrars) will receive a notice from EURid about the upcoming non-compliance of the data associated with their domain names.
  • 30 March 2019 — a second notice will be issued to UK registrants (and their registrars) in which registrants will be given an opportunity to demonstrate their compliance with the eligibility criteria by updating their WHOIS data.
  • 30 May 2019 — all domain names that haven’t been brought into compliance with the eligibility criteria will be deemed ineligible and will be “withdrawn”. Withdrawn domain names will no longer support websites or email services. They can be reactivated if compliance with the eligibility criteria can be demonstrated.
  • 30 March 2020 — any domain names that don’t comply with the eligibility criteria will be revoked and released in batches for registration on the open market.

In addition, during the two-month period after 30 March 2019, the following actions will not be possible for .eu domain names:

  • Transferring the domain name to another UK registrant.
  • Obtaining a term extension, unless this is accompanied by a transfer request to an eligible registrant.
  • Automatically renewing — any domain name which expired in this period will not be automatically renewed. It will be moved to the WITHDRAWN status at the moment it expires.

We strongly recommend that you put in place a contingency plan now by registering suitable gTLDs or .uk domain names. If you need assistance to protect your business, get in touch with me at gip@udl.co.uk.

For more information about what happens to IP rights after Brexit, visit our dedicated one-stop-shop information page.

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